Credit and Finances Future Military Homeowners

  • What Does the Fiscal Cliff Deal Mean fo VA Borrowers?

    What Does the Fiscal Cliff Deal Mean fo VA Borrowers?

    After months of debate and political jousting, the fiscal cliff debate has now ended, and the results look like this. First, from a real estate and mortgage perspective, VA and military families did well. Second, the debates aren't over. For the typical household with a VA loan, the debate results found in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) look like this: The Mortgage Interest Deduc…

  • Why Cash is King in VA Loans

    Why Cash is King in VA Loans

    One of the great curiosities of the VA loan program is that you can get a mortgage with little or no cash. The VA allows lenders to make loans with no money down, a huge cash savings for qualified borrowers. In the usual case VA borrowers only need cash for closing costs and points or any difference between the loan amount and the purchase price. VA loans without cash are a practical reality in situations where a …

  • Why Have Fixed VA Loans Become So Popular?

    Why Have Fixed VA Loans Become So Popular?

    It used to be that adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) were a big part of the mortgage marketplace, but in recent years their use has tumbled to the point where sightings are rare. The VA says that in fiscal 2012 it guaranteed 539,884 loans. Of that number just 555 were adjustable-rate mortgages. That's about one-tenth of 1 percent. So what happened to VA ARMs? The use of ARMs became widespread with the pas…

  • Why Military Families Get More Mortgages

    Why Military Families Get More Mortgages

    The 2012 FHA annual report is out and it says there are a lot of VA loans. Actually, it doesn't "say" any such thing, but if you read between the lines, that's the plain message. In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the FHA insured 2,575,653 loans; that's 27.2 percent of the market. The report also says that the VA guaranteed 7.4 of all new loans during the same period, or roughly 700,000 mortgages. …

  • Why VA Loans Have The Least Borrower Risk

    Why VA Loans Have The Least Borrower Risk

    The past few weeks have been a time of celebration for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The festivities are all about VA loans – since 1944 the government has insured 20 million mortgages for vets and their families. Today there are some 1.7 million VA loans outstanding and they have a market value of about $284 billion. Just in 2012 the VA has guaranteed an additional 540,000 mortgages. These are big numb…

  • How Sandy Survivors Can Protect Their VA Loans, Benefits and Credit

    How Sandy Survivors Can Protect Their VA Loans, Benefits and Credit

    Millions of people along the Atlantic coast have been devastated by Superstorm Sandy, a freakish weather event that has damaged or destroyed an huge-but-unknown number of homes along the Atlantic Coast, especially in New York and New Jersey. Veteran and military households in the impacted areas should take several immediate steps to protect their VA loans, benefits and credit. First, contact the Federal Eme…

  • Can You Get A VA Loan With An 8 Percent Discount?

    Can You Get A VA Loan With An 8 Percent Discount?

    When it comes to discounts, everybody would like a little bit more. That's just the way it works in commerce and business, and it's also true when it comes to VA loans. The good news is that the VA rules allow concessions and contributions which are worth as much as 8 percent of the property's appraised value. Whether a VA borrower can get some or all of such discounts depends on the bargaining process and the des…

  • Will Credit Score Surprises Hurt Your Mortgage Application?

    Will Credit Score Surprises Hurt Your Mortgage Application?

    It's been a busy time on the credit front for our household. Our credit score has risen during the past few months because we paid off a few bills. The result of a better credit score is not surprising, but what took us off guard was that our credit scores rose so strangely. As much as we can figure out, my score improved 5 to 16 points, depending on which credit reporting agency you use. My wife did much better: …

  • Why VA Loans Matter In The Presidential Election

    Why VA Loans Matter In The Presidential Election

    The election season is here and one of the groups that should most interest politicians are the military households that have VA loans and other benefits from their service. To understand the importance of the military community there are two factors to consider. First, as November looms ahead it's usually argued that there are nine swing states which will determine the presidential election. These stat…

  • Should VA Loans and FHA Mortgages Be Combined?

    Should VA Loans and FHA Mortgages Be Combined?

    Are VA loans and FHA mortgages alike? How about VA mortgages and financing from the Agriculture Department's Rural Housing Service (RHS)? Such questions are not far-fetched. A new report from the Government Accounting Office says the time is ripe to "increase collaboration and consider consolidation." But is this really a good idea? After all, could not the government save a few dollars and cut the deficit by c…